Moroni 7:3 I would speak unto you that are...the peaceable followers of Christ
"In chapter 7 you notice that Mormon is sick to death of violence. He wants rest and peace. He's just obsessed with it now. He said right at the beginning that since he was old enough to observe the ways of men, he had seen nothing but this restless violence (Mormon 2:18)...[Now he says] "I want to talk of peace for a change with some peaceable people." He wants a peaceable world and he wants a rest. He's sick and tired....Peace and rest are foremost in his mind here, and it comes out throughout this chapter." (Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Lecture 112, p. 277)
Moroni 7:3-4 I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk
Mormon concludes that these few followers of Christ have a hope that they will enter into the rest of the Lord. He makes this conclusion based upon their 'peaceable walk' among the children of men. The connection between hope and a peaceable walk is not immediately apparent. But, placed in historical context, their love of peace is in stark contrast to the rest of their society. Could it be that these were the only people among the Nephites that were not continually fighting for their lives? Could it be that they were the only people among the Nephites who were not consumed with thoughts of death, revenge, and bloodshed? And how could it be that they had no fear of death? Apparently, their hope of eternal rest was a product of their faith and that perfect love which casteth out all fear (Moroni 8:16). Amidst a society of bloodshed and carnage, their 'peaceable walk' was evidence to Mormon that they had hope for a better world (Ether 12:4).
"Mormon's challenge as a spiritual leader in a wicked world strikes a sad but familiar chord today. In Moroni 7, Mormon addresses his words to the 'peaceable followers of Christ.' (Moro. 7:3.) Just as in Mormon's day, to be such a 'follower' in our society is not an easy task...One who has a 'peaceable walk,' in the Savior's words, would 'learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.' (D&C 19:23)" (Clyde J. Williams, Church News, 11/30/96)
Bruce C. Hafen
"This is the spiritual endowment of hope-of perspective, of patience, of an inner serenity, a sure inner sight, that is 'not weary in well-doing.' (D&C 64:33.) Such hope is bestowed by the power of the Holy Ghost, 'which Comforter filleth with hope.' (Moroni 8:26.)...It is the hope that Mormon recognized as a sustaining, God-given source of strength in the maturing stages of spiritual development: (quotes Moroni 7:3-4). Not perfect, not frantic; not pessimistic and not artificially cheerful. The walk of those who walk with the endowment of hope is 'peaceable.'" (The Broken Heart, p. 184)
Moroni 7:8 if a man being evil giveth a gift...he is counted evil before God
The best example of this principle is the famous offering of Cain. Cain was evil. He followed Satan's counsel in making an offering unto the Lord. Yet, he expected a full reward. He was surprised and angry to learn that the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect (Gen 4:4-5). In essence, Cain had been counted evil before God. Hereby, he became the great prototype of the evil gift-giver.
The story is told of a man who had been pressed for weeks by his wife and bishop to live the law of tithing. Finally, exasperated, the man went into the bishop's office, slid the envelope across the desk, and said, "Here Bishop, here's your damn tithing!" The bishop calmly slid the envelope back across the desk, replying, "well if that's the way you feel about it, then you can keep your money. The Lord doesn't want it."
"We say to the Saints, do not pay Tithing, unless you want to; do not help to build up this Temple unless you want to; do not put forth your hands to one day's work, unless you want to. . . . If you grudgingly put forth your means to help to gather the Saints, it will be a curse to you." (Hugh Nibley, Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints, p. 460)
Alvin R. Dyer
"There are some, for vanity or other superficial reasons, that may seemingly offer a good gift, but only to deceive, and often as not, this simulation is made to cover something ugly and sinful which lodges beneath a false veneer.
"In the balance of innermost-thoughts and feelings lies the real person, to be evil or to be good. God recognizes no sense of good which is but a cloak of how the inner person really feels...Of these, the Master has said, when with assumption they shall come up for a crown or a place in His Kingdom, 'Depart, for I never knew you.'" (BYU Speeches of the Year, Alvin R. Dyer, Mar. 16, 1965, p. 5)
Moroni 7:9 if he shall pray and not with real intent...it profiteth him nothing
Joseph F. Smith
"Here, indeed, is a text that would give an opportunity to one moved by the proper spirit, to make a telling discourse among the Latter-day Saints-not applicable to all, but applicable to far too many. It is not good for us to pray by rote, to kneel down and repeat the Lord's prayer continually. I think that one of the greatest follies I have ever witnessed is the foolish custom of men repeating the Lord's prayer continually without considering its meaning...It thus becomes only a form; there is no power in it; neither is it acceptable, because it is not offered from the heart, nor with the understanding; and I think that it is desirable for us to look well to our words when we call upon the Lord...let the prayer come from the heart, let it not be in words that are worn into ruts in the beaten tracks of common use, without thought or feeling in the use of those words. Let us speak the simple words, expressing our need, that will appeal most truly to the Giver of every good and perfect gift." (Gospel Doctrine, p. 220)
Spencer J. Condie
"Elder Dallin H. Oaks instructed a group of missionaries in Porto, Portugal, regarding the importance of 'real intent,' adding that when we pray with real intent we are willing to accept the consequences of the answer we receive. That is to say, we are willing to assume the responsibility of that confirmation we receive by undergoing a mighty change of heart and, in most cases, undergoing a mighty behavioral and attitudinal change in our lives." (In Perfect Balance, p. 64)
Moroni 7:12-13 every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God
This statement seems simple enough. It seems only logical that all things which are good cometh of God. However, the implications of this seemingly simple statement are enormous. This truth broadens our view of all that is around us, for we begin to realize that the Lord has his hand in a lot of things which we do not give him credit for. Furthermore, we find that good can come from unexpected places or people.
What if the teachings of Buddhism and Confucianism teach a man to be honest, upright, and to treat all guests with respect and dignity? Is that teaching from God? What if Islam teaches a man to pray regularly and adhere to a strict moral code? Is that teaching from God? What if a Christian denomination which has rejected the Book of Mormon teaches its congregation that they will be saved through faith on the name of Jesus Christ? Is that teaching from God? The Book of Mormon teaches us that the Lord has inspired all good throughout the world. If we are to believe that, then we must broaden our understanding of how the Lord works among the children of men. Certainly, he has not limited his inspiration and revelation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Nor has the Lord limited the power of his inspiration to religious leaders and teachers. His almighty hand has touched the works of artists, musicians, poets, authors, inventors, and even politicians. The life of Mozart was anything but inspired, but some of his music certainly is. Beethoven may not have given all the credit for his work to God, but who gave Beethoven his ability? The works of countless artists amaze us and inspire us because we recognize something divine in their work. It is that divine touch which seems to touch us the most.
Joseph Smith clearly taught that we believe in all things which are good, If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praise worthy, we seek after these things (A of F 13). We seek after these things because we know that their ultimate source is the Lord God Almighty. For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it (DC 84:119).
Moroni 7:16 the spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil
Bruce R. McConkie
"Christ is 'the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' (D. & C. 93:2; John 1:9.) This enlightenment is administered to all men through the Spirit of Christ, or the Spirit of the Lord, or the Light of truth, or the light of Christ -- all of which expressions are synonymous. This Spirit fills the immensity of space, is in all things, and is not to be confused with the Personage of Spirit known as the Holy Ghost (or Spirit of the Lord). (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 38-54.)
"The light of Christ is the Spirit of the Lord which leads men to accept the gospel and join the Church so that they may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Men are commanded to 'live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God. For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.' (D. & C. 84:44-46.) Those who hearken to this Spirit come into the Church, receiving 'of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins.' (D. & C. 20:37; 84:47-48; Alma 19:6; 26:3; 28:14.) Men are born again by following the light of Christ to the point where they receive the actual enjoyment of the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Mosiah 27:24-31; Alma 36.)
"It is because of the light of Christ that all men know good from evil and enjoy the guidance of what is called conscience." (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 446-7)
Boyd K. Packer
"We are separated from animals by more than upright posture, an articulated thumb, and the size of our brain. We are separated by a conscience...Our conscience might be described as a memory, a residual awareness of who we really are, of our true identity. It is perhaps the best example of the fact that we can become aware of truths because we feel them...This knowledge of right and wrong, is called the light of Christ, moral sense, or conscience, it moderates our actions unless, that is, we subdue it or destroy it...It affirms...the reality of good and evil, justice, mercy, honor, courage, faith, love, and virtue, as well as their necessary opposites, hatred, greed, brutality, and jealousy." (Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 521)
Moroni 7:16 I show unto you the way to judge
Gordon B. Hinckley
"How do we recognize the promptings of the Spirit? I don't think that's too difficult, really. When all is said and done it is a matter of a feeling we have in our hearts. I am going to read to you some words from Moroni that I think answer this question...(quotes Moroni 7:13, 16-17)
"That's the test, when all is said and done. Does it persuade one to do good, to rise, to stand tall, to do the right thing, to be kind, to be generous? Then it is of the Spirit of God. If it is dark, sinister, ugly, not good, then you may know that it is of the adversary.
"Now, your question: How do we recognize the promptings of the Spirit? You put it to that test. If it invites to do good, it is of God. If it inviteth to do evil, it is of the devil. The Lord is not going to spell out for you, A, B, C, D, E, F. His influence will be felt. And if you are doing the right thing and if you are living the right way, you will know in your heart what the Spirit is saying to you.
"You recognize the promptings of the Spirit by the fruits of the Spirit--that which enlighteneth, that which buildeth up, that which is positive and affirmative and uplifting and leads us to better thoughts and better words and better deeds is of the Spirit of God. That which tears us down, which leads us into forbidden paths--that is of the adversary. I think it is just that plain, just that simple." (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, "Holy Ghost")
Joseph F. Smith
"(quotes Moroni 7:10-19.)...I think that here, in the words that I have read, are some...plain, simple guideposts; and if we, as Latter-day Saints...would read these words as believing children should read, with understanding, in faith, being sure that God inspired them, and then put them into practice, I think it would not be long before we could do away with appeals to bishops' courts, and high councils, and with the present necessity for teachers' visits, to try to settle difficulties among Latter-day Saints. I believe every man would be his own judge, for he would judge righteously, because he would judge in the light of truth, in the light and justice-not selfishly, not covetously, but in the light that has come from the heavens in the latter days, through revelations from God." (Gospel Doctrine, pp. 222-3)
Moroni 7:17 whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil...is of the devil
Bruce R. McConkie
"Life itself depends upon the existence of opposites. Without evil there could be no good; without misery, no happiness; without death, no life. (2 Nephi 2.) Thus, if there are good gifts that come from God there are also evil gifts that spring forth from Satan. Heaven is the source of all that is good; hell, of all that is evil....
"Is there a gift of preaching by the power of the Holy Ghost that enlightens spiritual souls and leads them to eternal life? So also there is a gift of intellectual persuasion, a gift of sophistry and delusion, that pleases carnal men and lets them feel that they can believe what they will and live after the manner of the world, and yet be saved.
"Is there a gift of charity, of enjoying and possessing the pure love of Christ, that leads men to peace in this present world and assures them of eternal life in that world which is to be? So also there is a gift of selfishness, of putting one's own interests first in all things, of spewing forth hatred and animosity upon others, all of which leads to war and desolation here and now and to everlasting destruction hereafter.
"Are there gifts of purity, of chastity, of clean thoughts, of upright living, all of which cleanse and perfect the souls of men and prepare them to be at ease in the fellowship of angels and holy beings hereafter? So also there are gifts of lust, of lewdness, of profane and evil speaking, of filling one's mind with carnal and evil thoughts, all of which lead to vulgar and immoral acts that prepare men for the continuing association of evil spirits in the realms ahead." (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, pp. 375-77)
Moroni 7:19 ye should search diligently in the light of Christ
"Mormon's words indicate the need for effort on our part to obtain the real benefit of the Light of Christ. While this gift is given to everyone, we must be willing to let that light guide and direct our decisions or the light will grow dim. Speaking of this dwindling of the Light of Christ, President J. Reuben Clark explained, 'It is my hope and my belief that the Lord never permits the light of faith wholly to be extinguished in any human heart, however faint the light may glow. The Lord has provided that there shall still be a spark which, with teaching, with the spirit of righteousness, with love, with tenderness, with example, with living the Gospel, shall brighten and glow again, however darkened the mind may have been.' (Conference Report, October 1936, p. 114.)" (Clyde J. Williams, Church News, 11/30/96)
Moroni 7:20 how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing?
Mormon's discourse on faith, hope, and charity was prompted by a question. Joseph Smith stated, "I have a key by which I understand the scriptures. I enquire, what was the question which drew out the answer?" (Teachings, p. 176) Well, in order to fully appreciate Mormon's discussion of faith, hope, and charity, we must remember the question he is answering, 'how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing?'
Moroni 7:25 men began to exercise faith in Christ
"It is interesting that though we exercise faith and so can increase it, we have faith but we never read of receiving it; we ask for and receive health, wisdom, protection, the necessities of life, and life itself, but we do not ask for faith; it is a principle that we seem to generate in ourselves, being dependent on some auxiliary source, for it is stimulated by hope. We can 'lay hold' of these things only if we are 'meek and lowly' (Matthew 11:29), for we cannot create power by an act of will; if that were possible Satan would be all-powerful." (Approaching Zion, p. 604)
Moroni 7:26 by faith, they become the sons of God
All mankind are the spiritual offspring of God, and therefore, all are sons and daughters of God whether they have faith or not. However, in this passage, Mormon is making reference to the process of becoming a son or daughter of Christ. As king Benjamin taught, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters (Mosiah 5:7).
Moroni 7:26 Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good
There are a few promises in the Book of Mormon that are repeated over and over again. This promise is a marvelous promise with grand and eternal implications too often taken for granted. When the Lord promises to give us whatever we want, which is good, as long as we ask in faith believing in his name, he means what he says. We have no reason to doubt, no reason to waver-else we become like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed (James 1:6). See also commentary for 3 Nephi 18:20.
Neal A. Maxwell
"By praying, we begin to experience what it is like when we see the interplay of man's moral agency and God's directing hand. These are things to be learned only by experience. We learn how important our intentions are, since we are instructed to pray for that 'which is right' (3 Nephi 18:20). Our prayers will be better if they are in fact inspired prayers.
"Thus worshipping, serving, studying, praying, each in its own way squeezes selfishness out of us; it pushes aside our preoccupations with the things of the world." (Men and Women of Christ, p. 98)
Moroni 7:30 angels minister unto them of strong faith and a firm mind
While the faithless ask for an angelic visitation to consume it upon their lusts, the Lord does not send angels to the faithless. The sign seeker gets no sign because the Lord has nothing to prove. Indeed, the sign seeker is the one who has something to prove to the Lord, not the other way around. Unless they prove to the Lord through obedience and humility that they are worthy of it, they will never have faith strong enough nor a mind firm enough to deserve an angelic visitation.
Thus, angels don't come to replace or bolster faith. They come to those whose faith is so strong that it would not be affected by such a visitation.
"...people of firm mind and strong faith are the only ones an angel can come to. Otherwise, it will set you off your rocker. Remember, Brigham Young said, 'Pray that you will never see an angel,' because almost everyone who has seen one has apostatized. It's more than they can take." (Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, p. 6)
Moroni 7:33 If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me
Faith is a principle of power. The greater one's faith, the greater is one's power for good. Like so much else in the gospel, the attainment of such power is a process. But this journey has a destination epitomized by the promise given to Nephi:
'I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will
...ye shall have power over this people, and shall smite the earth with famine, and with pestilence, and destruction, according to the wickedness of this people.
Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people.' (Hel 10:5-7)
How great is this promise! The Lord says that we will be given power so that we can do whatever we want. He has promised us that through prayer we can have whatever we want (v. 26). Thus God allows us to have whatever we want so that we can do whatever we want. The only caveat is that we must ask for that 'which is good', and we must do that which is 'expedient in [him].' This shows us how important it is for us to want only those things which God wants-in effect, to have our will 'swallowed up in the will of the Father' (Mosiah 15:7). As the Bible Dictionary states: "Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them."
Bruce R. McConkie
"It is the power of faith...And the extent to which we become like Him is the extent we gain His faith, acquire His power and exercise His priesthood. And when we have become like Him in the full and true sense, then we...shall have eternal life." (Conference Report, May 1982 Ensign, "Priesthood Power Should Be Studied and Magnified")
"...faith is not only the principle of action, but of power also, in all intelligent beings, whether in heaven or on earth...
'Faith, then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things; by it they exist, by it they are upheld, by it they are changed, or by it they remain, agreeable to the will of God. Without it there is no power, and without power there could be no creation nor existence!...
"How would you define faith in its most unlimited sense? It is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things." (Lectures on Faith, pp. 8-12)
Moroni 7:35 has the day of miracles ceased?
Spencer W. Kimball
"Making a stirring appeal following the bloody extinction of his people, the lonely Moroni, last survivor of a great civilization, looked down the stream of time to our own day when the Book of Mormon should come forth. Among other erroneous concepts then held, he predicted, would be the idea that 'miracles are done away.' (Morm. 8:26.)
"We who live now recognize the fulfillment of this prophecy. Fortunately, active Church members are aware of modern miracles-angelic visitations, gospel restoration, the Book of Mormon, for example. When we think of miracles, most of us think of healings under the power of the priesthood. But there is another, even greater miracle-the miracle of forgiveness.
"Indeed the day of miracles has not passed except for those who will not heed the call of the Lord and of his servants, who night and day warn and plead and implore. There is a glorious miracle awaiting every soul who is prepared to change. Repentance and forgiveness make a brilliant day of the darkest night. When souls are reborn, when lives are changed then comes the great miracle to beautify and warm and lift. When spiritual death has threatened and now instead there is resuscitation, when life pushes out death when this happens it is the miracle of miracles. And such great miracles will never cease so long as there is one person who applies the redeeming power of the Savior and his own good works to bring about his rebirth." (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 361-2)
Boyd K. Packer
"Who would dare to say that the day of miracles has ceased? Those things have not changed in 150 years, not changed at all.
"For the power and inspiration of the Almighty rests upon this people today as surely as it did in those days of beginning: 'It is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief.' (Moroni 7:37.)
"The prophet Moroni taught that angelic messengers would accomplish their work, 'by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts.' (Moroni 7:31-32.)
"There has come, these last several years, a succession of announcements that show our day to be a day of intense revelation, equaled, perhaps, only in those days of beginning, 150 years ago.
But then, as now, the world did not believe. They say that ordinary men are not inspired; that there are no prophets, no Apostles; that angels do not minister unto men-not to ordinary men.
"That doubt and disbelief have not changed. But now, as then, their disbelief cannot change the truth.
"We lay no claim to being Apostles of the world-but of the Lord Jesus Christ. The test is not whether men will believe, but whether the Lord has called us-and of that there is no doubt!
"We do not talk of those sacred interviews that qualify the servants of the Lord to bear a special witness of Him, for we have been commanded not to do so.
"But we are free, indeed, we are obliged, to bear that special witness...
Compared to the others who have been called, I am nowhere near their equal, save it be, perhaps, in the certainty of the witness we share.
"I feel compelled, on this one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the Church, to certify to you that I know that the day of miracles has not ceased. I know that angels minister unto men." (That All May Be Edified, pp. 149-151)
Heber J. Grant
"When my appendix was removed it had broken and blood poisoning, so they said, in the third and last stage, had set in. There were nine doctors present and eight said I had to die. The chief surgeon in the Catholic hospital turned to President Joseph F. Smith, and said: 'Mr. Smith, you need not think of such a possibility or probability as that this man shall live. Why, if he should live it would be a miracle, and this is not the day of miracles.' That was the message delivered to me by Joseph F. Smith himself during his last sickness, and he said: 'Our doctor friend who said it would be a miracle has passed away. I never saw you looking healthier in my life than you do today, Heber.'" (Conference Report, Apr. 1933, p. 10)
Moroni 7:37 if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief
"When Mormon says that 'a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift' (Moroni 7:6, 8, 10), he really means it. True, 'awful is the state of man' only if 'faith has ceased'-but faith has ceased! If men insist that there is no redemption, then, sure enough, 'they are as though there had been no redemption made' (Moroni 7:38-39). 'If these things have ceased,' says [Mormon] speaking of gifts of the Spirit (Moroni 7:37), 'wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.' This is no mere figure of speech; if faith fulfills its own prophecies so does unbelief, and those who insist that all is vain are quite right; if men reject the gospel they will find everywhere powerful confirmation for their unbelief, and undeniable evidence to support their contention that the human predicament is hopeless. Does God cease to do miracles? Indeed he does, 'and the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief' (Mormon 9:20). Anyone who says there are no miracles, therefore, can quote Mormon to prove that he is right." (Since Cumorah, p. 401)
Spencer W. Kimball
"If the Bible were 'the end of the prophets,' it would be through lack of faith, and that is the reason the heavens at times were closed and locked and became as iron and the earth as brass.
"The Lord will not force himself upon people; and if they do not believe, they will receive no visitation. If they are content to depend upon their own limited calculations and interpretations then, of course, the Lord will leave them to their chosen fate." (Conference Report, Oct. 1966, p. 22)
Moroni 7:40 How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
Mormon's rhetorical question obviously implies that hope must precede faith. Yet, other scriptures teach that hope is a product of faith, hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men (Ether 12:4). So which comes first, hope or faith? The answer is that there is a hope which must precede faith and a hope which must follow faith.
Conceptually, the hope which precedes faith is quite different than the hope which follows faith. The hope which precedes faith is the desire in one's heart that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. It is that initial wish which prompts the exercise of faith. Alma 32:27 speaks of this hope, let this desire (hope) work in you, even until ye believe (faith). This type of hope is so essential to the development of faith that it becomes part of the definition, faith is things which are hoped for and not seen (Ether 12:6).
On the other hand, the hope which follows faith is much more than a wish. It is the calm assurance that one will be resurrected unto eternal life through the power of Christ's atonement. This hope is a virtue of the spiritually mature, for those who have this hope are not focused on the mundane of this world. Rather, their focus is on a better life, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God (Ether 12:4). As Paul said, That being justified by his grace (through faith), we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7).
Moroni 7:42 if a man have faith he must needs have hope
Jeffrey R. Holland
"What is the nature of this hope? It is certainly much more than wishful thinking. It is to have 'hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.' That is the theological meaning of hope in the faith-hope-charity sequence. With an eye to that meaning, Moroni 7:42 then clearly reads, 'If a man have faith [in Christ and his atonement] he must needs [as a consequence] have hope [in the promise of the Resurrection, because the two are inextricably linked]; for without faith [in Christ's atonement] there cannot be any hope [in the Resurrection].' (Christ and the New Covenant, p. 335)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Thus gospel hope is a very focused and particularized hope that is based upon justified expectations. It is a virtue that is intertwined with faith and charity, which virtues are not to be understood either when they are torn apart from each other or apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, without whom they are all vague virtues. Doubt and despair go together, whereas faith and hope are constant companions." (Notwithstanding My Weakness, pp. 41-2)
Moroni 7:44 none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart
Neal A. Maxwell
"Meekness ranks low on the mortal scale of things, yet high on God's: 'For none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart.' (Moroni 7:44.) The rigorous requirements of Christian discipleship are clearly unattainable without meekness. In fact, meekness is needed in order to be spiritually successful, whether in matters of the intellect, in the management of power, in the dissolution of personal pride, or in coping with the challenges of daily life." (Meek and Lowly, p. ix)
Neal A. Maxwell
"In the ecology of the eternal attributes, these cardinal characteristics are inextricably bound up together. Among them, meekness is often the initiator, facilitator, and consolidator.
"Moreover, if one needs further persuasion as to how vital this virtue is, Moroni warned that 'none is acceptable before God, save the meek and the lowly in heart.' (Moroni 7:44.) If we could but believe in the reality of that bold, but accurate, declaration, then you and I would find ourselves focusing on the crucial rather than the marginal traits. We would then cease pursuing lifestyles that, inevitably and irrevocably, are going out of style.
"We live in coarsening times, times in which meekness is both misunderstood and despised. Yet it has been, is, and will remain a nonnegotiable dimension of true discipleship; its development is a remarkable achievement anytime, but especially in this age. Therefore, how needed are the many fresh, but plain, scriptural reminders of the necessity of the precious virtue of meekness!" (Plain and Precious Things, p. 52)
Moroni 7:44 he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing
"The Prime Directive has been delivered to us pointedly by the Savior no fewer than three times in John's Gospel alone: 'A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another' (John 13:34-35). 'This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends' (John 15:12-13). 'These things I command you, that ye love one another' (John 15:17).
"...This is not emotional fluff. This is not pie in the sky, wishful thinking, or idealistic gas. Love is not some subsidiary principle that allows the weepy among us to go off on a crying jag. It's not just something thrown in for the benefit of the sisters or for the super-sensitive "artsy" types. It is not an option that may be ignored by those who would prefer not to clutter their lives with other peoples' problems. There is a grand key here, probably the grandest of them all. It is this: the heart and soul of the gospel is love, and all the rest is commentary. Whatever else we may perceive religion to be, we are wrong-for true religion is love in action-God's love for us and our love for God and for our neighbors." (Stephen R. Robinson, Following Christ, p. 137 - 138)
Jeffrey R. Holland
"It is that charity-his pure love for us-without which we would be nothing, hopeless, of all men and women most miserable... But the 'pure love of Christ' Mormon spoke of is precisely that-Christ's love. With that divine gift, that redeeming bestowal, we have everything; without it we have nothing and ultimately are nothing, except in the end 'devils [and] angels to a devil.' (2 Ne 9:9)" (Christ And The New Covenant, p. 336 - 337)
Moroni 7:46 charity never faileth
The Relief Society motto is "charity never faileth." The greatest scriptural commentary on this phrase was given by Paul:
'Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.' (1 Cor 13:8-10)
But because actions speak louder than words, the greatest commentary for "charity never faileth" has been given by the lives of those sisters whose service has proven that charity is an eternal virtue.
Gordon B. Hinckley
"The Relief Society of the Church . . . has as its motto Charity Never Faileth. Innumerable are the deeds of these remarkable and wonderful and unselfish women in succoring those in distress, in binding up the wounds of those who have been hurt, in giving cheer and comfort to those in distress, in feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, and in lifting up those who have fallen and giving them strength and encouragement and the will to go forward." (Ensign, November 1990, p. 54.)
Elaine J. Jack
"A Relief Society sister who had moved to Texas to continue her education and then was moving again wrote to me this summer. She told of her experience with the sisters in her ward, of their quick action, willing hands, warmth, and kindness. But it wasn't what they did that prompted her letter; it was why. They loved her, and she could feel it. As they shared with her, multiplying their gifts, she too was strengthened in charity. Listen to her story, because it represents all of you and your quiet goodness:
'As I write these words, I have to squint at my computer screen and keep blinking away tears of gratitude. From the first day I attended the Austin Fourth Ward, I was touched by the spirit of love and caring I felt in the Relief Society. These sisters are very diverse. There are converts and lifelong members, native Texans and Mountain West transplants. They are married, divorced, and single, some with sufficient means, others with very few resources. Yet it doesn't seem to make any difference.
'I can't tell you of the untold kindnesses they've done for me. They aren't earthshaking events, but an accumulation of small blessings: stopping by my apartment to take my dog for a walk, offering to take care of some mending, tracking down packing boxes for me, and including me in their personal prayers. This Sabbath day, the words of the hymn 'As Sisters in Zion' [Hymns, no. 309] keep running through my mind. I want you to know that the sisters are indeed 'build[ing] up his kingdom with earnest endeavor,' and 'comfort[ing] the weary and strengthen[ing] the weak' (letter from Katherine Boswell, 11 Aug. 1996).
"Is there any question of the righteous influence of the women of this Church? In this tabernacle, in Texas, in tiny branches, sprawling wards, and stakes around the world, our efforts sound the theme 'Charity Never Faileth.' What a promise! As it is heard here and recorded in heaven, may we remember, sisters, this is our theme and our message to the world. It isn't what we do; it is the heart with which we do it." (Conference Report, Nov. 1996 Ensign, "Strengthening in Charity")
Moroni 7:47 charity is the pure love of Christ
During his mission, the author was asked, "can a Buddhist have charity?" The answer is that a Buddhist can have love for his fellowmen without accepting Christ, but there is much more to charity than just love for one's neighbors. Without faith and hope in Christ, the virtue can never be perfected or fully expressed.
"The phrase 'love of Christ' might have meaning in three dimensions: ...First, love for Christ. This concept proclaims Jesus as the object of our love, and our lives should be an external expression of our gratitude for him...A second dimension of the meaning of charity is love from Christ. (Ether 12:33-34) The Savior's act of redemption for our sins is of no effect without our willingness to comply with the conditions of his atonement...A third perception of charity is to possess a love that is like Christ. (2 Ne 33:7-9; Jn 13:34). Charity is not just...a word to describe actions or attitudes. Rather, it is an internal condition that must be developed and experienced in order to be understood...People who have charity have a love for the Savior, have received of his love, and love others as he does." (C. Max Caldwell, Ensign, Nov. 1992, pp. 29-30 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 524)
Heber J. Grant
"Many people imagine that charity is giving a dollar to somebody; but real, genuine charity is giving love and sympathy." (Messages of the First Presidency, 5:180)
Marvin J. Ashton
"Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being a basher [speaking ill of someone] repulsive. Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us." (Ensign, May 1992, p. 19 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 524)
"Charity gives to those who don't deserve and expects nothing in return: It is the love God has for us, and the love we have for little children, of whom we expect nothing but for whom we would give everything." (Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 524)
Moroni 7:48 pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love
"Could it be that the reason we may not feel love for others is that we have not really prayed for it-or, if we have, it has not been a prayer with all 'energy of heart'? The latter part of the passage just quoted mentions love as something that is bestowed upon the 'true followers' of Jesus Christ. If we do not feel the whole power of love, perhaps we have not prayed enough for it or are not yet true followers of Jesus Christ." (Gayle O. Brown, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, The Keystone Scripture, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 153)
Bruce C. Hafen
"We apparently cannot develop a complete and permanent Christlike love for other people on our own, even though we must qualify as 'true followers of his Son' in order to receive this love... charity in its full-blown sense is 'bestowed upon' Christ's righteous followers. Its source, like all other blessings of the Atonement, is the grace of God...
"The purpose of charity, however, is not merely to cause a proper motivation for charitable acts toward other people-though that is of course one important result. The ultimate purpose is to make Christ's followers like him." (The Broken Heart, p. 196)
Russell M. Nelson
In these latter days we who are privileged to have the Book of Mormon, to be members of the Lord's Church, to have His gospel, and to keep His commandments know something of God's infinite love. We know how to make His love our own. As we become His true disciples, we gain the power to love as He does. As we keep His commandments, we become more like Him. We broaden our personal circle of love in reaching out to people of every nation, kindred, and tongue. (Ensign, Oct. 2011, 14)
Spencer J. Condie
"(quotes Moroni 7:48) If the diplomats of warring nations understood and followed Mormon's admonition, the world would be spared the scourge of war. If married couples perpetually pleaded for and practiced charity, the world would be spared the devastation of broken homes and hearts. If all those whose lives have been scarred by abuse would pray with all the energy of their hearts for the pure love of Christ, their burdens would be lifted and their hearts would be filled with love. Charity, the pure love of Christ, is acquired only through great effort on our part. After praying with great energy of heart, then comes the promise: we will be filled with love.
"This single verse is one of the most profound statements found in holy writ. If this succinct prescription were truly followed, much of the misery of the human condition would be alleviated. (Heroes From the Book of Mormon, p. 178)
Moroni 7:48 when he shall appear we shall be like him
Moroni indicates that in order to see Christ as he is, we need to be like him. He means we need to be like him in the sense of being a glorified, perfected, resurrected personage. Can't we "see him as he is" without first being resurrected? Prior to being glorified, Joseph Smith saw the Lord, "We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters." (D&C 110: 2-3) At the time of this vision, the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery were mortal men. Neither were perfect. Neither were glorified. Neither possessed a celestial body. As such, they could not appreciate his glory to the same degree as if they themselves had been glorified.
What will be different about seeing the Lord at his Second Coming? Or, more accurately, what will be different about the saints at the Second Coming that we will be able to "see him as he is"? At that day, the saints will be like him, both spiritually and physically. As Elder Charles W. Penrose said, "By that time we will be able to comprehend God." (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 23: 160)
In other words, in order to truly see him as he is, we must be as he is.
Henry B. Eyring
"If we stay at it long enough, perhaps for a lifetime, we will have for so long felt what the Savior feels, wanted what he wants, and done what he would have us do that we will have, through the Atonement, a new heart filled with charity. And we will have become like him." (To Draw Closer to God, p. 71 - 72)
Moroni 7:48 Mormon's words or John's?
When the Savior visited the Nephites, he was very careful to make sure that they had the most important Old Testament scriptures as part of their scriptural record (see 3 Ne 23:6). But Moroni 7 reminds us that the Lord was just as careful to restore important New Testament doctrines to the Nephites. Even the ideas of the early epistles are expressed in the writings of Mormon and Moroni. We have already commented that Moroni can be considered a doctrinal companion to Paul (see commentary for Ether 12:27). In this chapter, we see Mormon using the same language to talk about charity as Paul did in his epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor 13). Furthermore, Mormon's sermon also included many ideas from the Apostle John. Hereby, we see the mercy of the Lord in revealing to Mormon and Moroni the same concepts which had been revealed to the Old World Apostles.
1 John 2-4
1. I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men (v. 4).
1. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked (1 Jn 2:6).
2. every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good...is inspired of God (v. 13).
2. Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God (1 Jn 4:2).
3. the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil (v. 16).
3. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error (1 Jn 4:6).
4. he advocateth the cause of the children of men (v. 28).
4. we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ (1 Jn 2:1).
5. pray...that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son...that ye may become the sons of God (v. 48).
5. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 Jn 3:1).
6. that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (v. 48).
6. when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is (1 Jn 3:2).
7. that we may be purified even as he is pure (v. 48).
7. every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure (1 Jn 3:3).